Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 9

Oct 8, 2019

From ‘weirdo’ PhD stargazer to Nobel Physics laureate

Posted by in categories: physics, space

As a student astronomer scanning the skies with homemade instruments a quarter of a century ago, Didier Queloz spent months doubting the data that led him to an inescapable conclusion: he’d just discovered the first planet outside Earth’s solar system.

The Swiss scientist had spent much of his PhD research refining techniques to detect so-called exoplanets, which until one fateful night in October 1995 had previously only existed in the realm of science fiction.

Queloz and his colleague Michel Mayor, who on Tuesday were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering work, had already overcome a number of obstacles in their galaxy-wide search.

Oct 8, 2019

🔥 Absolutely beautiful video created using still images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its flyby of Jupiter and while at Saturn

Posted by in category: space

Shown is Io and Europa over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and then Titan as it passes over Saturn and it’s edge-on rings. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill.…quZjFTDy_s

Oct 7, 2019

A Molecular Universe

Posted by in category: space

Forget galaxies, stars and planets; the cosmos is really a complex chemical system.

Oct 7, 2019

The DNA clouds that shield unkillable tardigrades from radiation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space

It takes something truly extraordinary, like maybe the death of the Sun, to kill the near-indestructible invertebrate known as the tardigrade. Crash-landings on the Moon, a lack of oxygen and conditions in the darkest corners of the ocean don’t appear pose a threat to this critter’s livelihood. Scientists studying these so-called water bears have uncovered a neat trick they employ to endure inhospitable conditions, using a unique protein to generate protective clouds around their DNA.

Tardigrades measure no more than a millimeter long, but possess an indomitability that would make even nature’s largest and hardiest creatures jealous. Key to their survival is an ability to enter a suspended and extremely dehydrated state of being called anhydrobiosis, in which their metabolism is put on hold until the surrounding conditions are more favorable to a regular life.

This capability has seen tardigrades endure temperatures as high as 150º C (302º F) and as low as −272º C (−457.6º F). It has seen them studied in the vacuum of space and exist amongst intense pressures at the bottom of the ocean. When an Israeli spacecraft carrying tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon in August, it inspired some dramatic headlines around the possibility of the near-indestructible creatures colonizing Earth’s only natural satellite.

Oct 7, 2019

Researchers develop quantum-mechanical variant of the twin paradox

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

One of the fundamental challenges of physics is the reconciliation of Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. The necessity to critically question these two pillars of modern physics arises, for example, from extremely high-energy events in the cosmos, which so far can only ever be explained by one theory at a time, but not both theories in harmony. Researchers around the world are therefore searching for deviations from the laws of quantum mechanics and relativity that could open up insights into a new field of physics.

For a recent publication, scientists from Leibniz University Hannover and Ulm University have taken on the twin paradox known from Einstein’s special theory of relativity. This thought experiment revolves around a pair of twins: While one brother travels into space, the other remains on Earth. Consequently, for a certain period of time, the twins are moving in different orbits in space. The result when the pair meets again is quite astounding: The twin who has been travelling through space has aged much less than his brother who stayed at home. This phenomenon is explained by Einstein’s description of time dilation: Depending on the speed and where in the gravitational field two clocks move relative to each other, they tick at different speeds.

For the publication in Science Advances, the authors assumed a quantum-mechanical variant of the twin paradox with only one twin. Thanks to the superposition principle of , this twin can move along two paths at the same time. In the researchers’ , the twin is represented by an . “Such clocks use the quantum properties of atoms to measure time with high precision. The atomic clock itself is therefore a quantum-mechanical object and can move through space-time on two paths simultaneously due to the superposition principle. Together with colleagues from Hannover, we have investigated how this situation can be realised in an experiment,” explains Dr. Enno Giese, research assistant at the Institute of Quantum Physics in Ulm. To this end, the researchers have developed an experimental setup for this scenario on the basis of a quantum-physical model.

Oct 7, 2019

China grew a plant on the moon — it sprouted two leaves, data indicates

Posted by in category: space

It marks the first time a plant has been grown on the moon.

Oct 7, 2019

Lunar-polar Propellant Mining Outpost Envisioned

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Moon propellant mining outposts can grow into lunar cities. A futuristic architecture promises to greatly reduce the cost of human exploration and industrialization of Earth’s celestial next-door-neighbor.

Oct 6, 2019

China Grows Cotton Plant on the Far Side of the Moon in Biological First

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, space

China has broken new lunar ground, successfully growing cotton on the moon for the first time. The experiment was part of the Chang’e 4 project, in which China is exploring the far side of the moon with a lander. This is the same lander that recently discovered a mysterious gel-like substance on the moon’s surface.

The cotton plant was one of several organisms encased in a mini biosphere weighing just 2.6 kilograms (5.7 lbs) with a pressure of 1 atmosphere which was aboard the lander. The organisms experienced an environment largely similar to that on Earth, however, they did have to contend with both space radiation and microgravity.

In an interview with engineering magazine IEEE Spectrum, project leader for the experiment Xie Gengxin explained more about the challenges of growing plants in the restricted environment. “The weight of the Chang’e-4 probe demanded that the weight [of the experiment] can’t exceed three kilograms,” he said. That’s why it was important to select the biological samples in the experiment carefully.

Oct 6, 2019

Meet the cyborg artists who have merged themselves with technology

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, space

Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his skull that allows him to feel colour, while Moon Ribas has sensors in her feet that allow her to feel earthquakes.

Oct 5, 2019

Paralyzed man able to walk with mind-controlled exoskeleton suit

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, space

He said it felt like being the first man to walk on the moon.

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